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Chute on Thursday extended its visual marketing platform for the enterprise with the launch of Chute Influence, a service designed to help marketers find, vet, and manage influencers in their space. With this addition, the company is enabling its customers to conduct outreach to their users and consumers, as well as those who might be able to impact sales at a topical and industry level.
Brands using Chute Influence will be able to find influencers based on their demographic, geolocation, affinity, and interests. Once someone has been identified, the system will provide an assessment based on “current relevance,” engagement, and growth trajectory. Brands can like and comment on influencer posts and keep track of their content. Analytics is also provided so that posts can be compared — by engagement — with those from the brands.
“Influencers have become key for brands seeking to effectively reach audiences that are more separated and distracted than ever,” said Chute chief executive Ranvir Gujral. “Most marketers are managing their programs completely manually and have no real way to discover or vet these creators effectively. In the Chute platform, our partners are already able to find the perfect user-generated images for their needs — we wanted to make it that easy for finding creators too.”
If one needed proof of the importance of creators, look no further than Twitter and Facebook, which are following in the footsteps of a program YouTube has long dominated. Customers are no longer swayed just by marketing messages from brands, now they are taking cues from creators that they can relate to. And Chute believes it has the complete suite of tools necessary for brands to handle all aspects of this growing trend.
“After doing our own research, we found that [discovering influencers] was one of the most difficult and time-consuming tasks for marketers in the space,” explained Greg Narain, Chute’s cofounder. “Sixty percent of marketers say they want influencer discovery to be automated. Plus, the top reason marketers aren’t tapping into influencer marketing is because they don’t know who to work with.”
Hunting down influencers isn’t a new concept, but it’s understandably difficult for brands to figure out who they are and to keep track of their rising or falling clout. There’s no shortage of influencer search services, of course, including Lithium Technologies-owned Klout, Little Bird, BuzzSumo, Traackr, and others. However, what Chute offers is not only a specific focus on visual content, but also additional resources to help brands take further action in order to create impactful marketing campaigns.
Since 2011, the Y Combinator portfolio startup has been focused on helping brands tap into user-generated content that’s shared on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, Flickr, and other social networks. Its goal is to facilitate better storytelling that’s authentic and believable, highlighting the popularity among consumers.
Today’s release gives the company a well-rounded arsenal for brands to tap into the social space, not only for monitoring and displaying fan content, but also securing rights, deriving insights and analytics, monetizing with ads, and more. In October, Chute released an all-in-one visual marketing suite for companies, consolidating all its tools and incorporating some machine learning and image recognition. Now brands can discern which of their fans are the most influential and reach out to see if they’d like to get involved.
There’s certainly demand for the services that Chute is providing, as evidenced by recent acquisitions of its competitors. In May, Adobe acquired the social engagement platform Livefyre, followed by Olapic’s purchase by Monotype in July. And investors haven’t been afraid to put money into services like Sprinklr, Spredfast (which also acquired Mass Relevance), and ScribbleLive.
“Our goal is to make tapping into authentic media of all forms effortless for our customers, so for us, it was a no-brainer to add these capabilities and services to our ecosystem,” Narain said.
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